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‘Everything But the News’ explores the ‘Uber for groceries’

The on-demand economy comes to grocery shopping.


Rae Votta


Posted on Feb 4, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 3:05 pm CDT

Does the world need a service that sends another person to your local store to pick out bananas in your stead? Maybe not, but the Uberfication of tasks has led to a deluge of apps promising you the convenience of a personal assistant, driver, or chef at a fraction of the price.

In the grocery space, the newest competitor is Instacart. While the idea of groceries on demand isn’t new, this concept connects you with a personal shopper who will go to your local store and deliver the goods within an hour. PBS Digital’s Everything But the News profiled the startup by following an Instacart shopper in San Francisco. The guy, who drives a BMW and graduated with a degree in biopsychology, is now making $200 a day as a shopper for the service. We also unexpectedly meet another shopper, who’s zipping around the store at such high speeds you wonder about her sanity. She says she’s clocking 30 to 40 hours a week on this gig, which started out part-time.

Sure, it’s not as adorable as EBTN‘s profile of San Francisco’s tiniest tech giant, but it’s a great glimpse at both the people who’d use such a service, and the permalance employees required to make it successful.

Screengrab via PBS Digital/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 4, 2015, 5:20 pm CST